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Can you believe that the baby pictured below is the same kid as the one above?
It is a shock every time I think about it! The years go by so quickly, but it feels like just yesterday, especially when I start talking to friends who have babies now. We always seem to end up talking about how hard those first few months can be with the lack of sleep and all, and I always share my favorite new parent tip, how to get sleep…real sleep with a new baby at home.
Pete and I figured out the whole sleep issue pretty early on after I confided in him that I felt like I was having problems functioning as my usual self due to lack of sleep after Maddie was born. She had to be fed around the clock, every two hours for the first few months of her life since she was a 4 lb. premie. It felt like as soon as she would fall back to sleep, it was time for another feeding. Which left no time for me to sleep at all.
Pete likes to fix things and he instantly came up with a solution.
We needed to divide and conquer. Not to just have help here and there, but really divide those hours up. We based our schedule off of our normal sleep times. I'm a night owl, so I would take the late-night shift and Pete is an early bird, so he would take the early morning shift. During each of our shifts, the sleeping person was not to be woken and the on shift person woke up for every feeding and if the baby needed anything. It looked something like this:
Heather 9 pm to 2 am.
Pete 2 am- 7 am.
Having that five hour stretch of uninterrupted sleep was the saving grace for both of us and Pete ended up loving that time together with our babies.
For Maddie and Ash, this worked perfectly after we started them on formula and for Emmy, we did it as soon as she came home from the hospital. In fact, on the way home from the hospital we stopped at Walmart to buy Parent's Choice® Infant Formula, diapers, and about 20 other things. Since we had waited so long to add another baby to our family, I didn't want to jinx her adoption and buy too many things ahead of time. We did an epic shopping trip for her on the way home from the hospital. Pete and I ended up switching off staying with her in the car on that trip because even though she was baby number three, we were just as careful about taking her out in public during those early days so that she wouldn't come into contact with germs. I felt like a new mom all over again! That was one of the happiest days of my life!
What are your best tips for staying rested with a new baby?